Archive for January, 2013

Australia, Sydney, NSW – 27/01/2013.

The Philippine National Rugby League (PNRL) has selected 45 Filipino-heritage players to represent 3 Philippine teams at the Cabramatta International 9s. The event will be held on 2 February 2013. (more…)

Manila. December 26, 2012. At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Australian residents Melly Jackson and her mother  Flora Ricablanca were returning to Sydney but their departure clearance could not be released because of her mom’s expired visa.  Immigration Officer Joel P. Escobar declared Mrs. Ricablanca as “overstaying” and demanded for her old [Philippine] passport which was not with her anymore as it had already been replaced with a new one.

Officer Escobar then asked his lady companion to compute how much her mother had to pay. The other immigration officer in an adjacent counter declared that the overstaying penalty was more than PHP19,000.

Feeling distressed, Ms. Jackson, suspected that the money being asked was padded and unreasonable. She then tried to negotiate for a lower fee. The amount went down to PHP18,000, then to PHP13,000, to PHP10,000, and finally to PHP7,000 to which she agreed.

Escobar warned Ms. Jackson not to expose the money openly so that it would not be caught by the security camera. She became even more suspicious but did not bother to check the amount on the receipt which was issued together with the Certificate of Release.

Ms. Jackson and her mother were already on board the aircraft when she noticed that the amount on the receipt was only PHP710 or the equivalent of AUD17. Clearly, Immigration Officer Escobar pocketed the difference.

In her email, Ms. Jackson wrote that another passenger Vena Yap paid PHP 15,000 for overstaying.

What was conceived by Emma de Vera and apparently approved by the Philippine Australian Community Foundation (PACF) Board as a brilliant idea now appears to be dead. (more…)

Prior to December 21, 2012, many people were scared that the world would end as predicted by the Mayan Calendar. Some even went to the extent of building underground bunkers with very thick concrete walls thinking that the structure was formidable enough to protect them from whatever was expected to come. There were those who went into panic buying, storing canned goods and other food items expected to last for the duration of a nuclear holocaust. (more…)

The Glencore-Xstrata super-merger, which was stalled for months on price and management-retention issues, has finally been forged. This merging of two giants into an even bigger giant simply means their corporate clout has increased not two-fold but five-fold. The super-merger was met with protests against Xstrata’s environmental crimes related to mines in Peru, Columbia, and elsewhere throughout the world. (more…)